Of 31 counties across New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in the New York region, a report issued by the Regional Plan Association places the Bronx at the top of the list indicating that 71‰ of The Bronx is at risk of displacement of which 44% are currently located in areas shifting towards a higher housing market. The Bronx was also listed as having highest rate of rent burdened households at a whopping 56% across all income categories and is defined as households paying more than 30% of income on rent.
The 355,420 Bronx households at risk do not include residents Section-8 housing or public housing in NYCHA.
The report, titled ‘Pushed Out: Housing Displacement in an Unaffordable Region‘ which sought to find where gentrification is likely to happen, looked at various issues like economic vulnerability of residents, characteristics of neighborhoods which make them attractive to higher income individuals—such as walkability to employment, good transportation networks—and increasing real estate prices of properties over $500,000 and rental properties over $2,000.
Several key findings from the report are:
- Low and moderate-income residents are being replaced by wealthier populations in walkable neighborhoods with good access to jobs
- Despite this shift, most low and moderate-income residents still live in these walkable, job-accessible neighborhoods
- These residents are mostly people of color
- Many of these walkable, accessible neighborhoods are seeing a shift to more expensive housing
- Displacement risk a problem throughout the region, not just in New York City
The issue of race is at the forefront as New York ranks as one of the most economically and racially segregated areas in the United States.
In the region, only 19% of white residents are at risk of displacement versus 81% of residents of color (28% Black, 41% Latino, 10% Asian, 2% other) showing just how centuries of systemic racism and oppressive policies in America has created conditions still impacting people of color today in 2017.
The report writes:
“Taken together, the results indicate that non-white residents are signiﬁcantly more likely to reside in the areas deemed at risk than white residents. This is unsurprising.Segregation by race and income is not an accident; racism and bias stemming from the country’s long legacy of discrimination has persistent eﬀects still felt across the United States. For instance, a typical white household has 16 times more wealth than a typical black one, and a black young man is more likely to go to prison than attend college or serve in the military.Segregation also persists spatially. When compared with other large metropolitan areas, New York ranks highest in income inequality and continues to rank as one of the most racially and ethnically segregated regions in the United States.The concentration of communities of color in the central, walkable areas is a direct result of the redlining and housing discrimination of the past, when suburban living was considered more desirable. Now that walkable areas closer to the urban core have become increasingly more valued,we have a unique chance to rectify these past injustices by ensuring that current residents can continue to call these areas home.”
- Limit evictions through access to legal counsel for low income residents
- Prevent sudden, sharp rent increases and keep homes safe and healthy
- Low-Income Housing Subsidy
- Use vacant government-owned landto create permanently aﬀordable housing
- Incorporate Displacement Risk into Decision Making
We know the issues, the dangers, and even possible solutions, the question now is, how do we begin implementing them?
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